John McCusker - CREOLE TROMBONE: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz
The definitive biography of the great band leader and New Orleans jazz performer
Please join us for a presentation and signing with John McCusker celebrating the launch of his new biography, CREOLE TROMBONE: Kid Ory and the Early Years of Jazz.
Edward "Kid" Ory (1886-1973) was a trombonist, composer, recording artist, and early New Orleans jazz band leader. Creole Trombone tells his story from birth on a rural sugar cane plantation in a French-speaking, ethnically mixed family, to his emergence in New Orleans as the city's hottest band leader. The Ory band featured such future jazz stars as Louis Armstrong and King Oliver and was widely considered New Orleans's top "hot" band. Ory's career took him from New Orleans to California, where he and his band created the first African American New Orleans jazz recordings ever made. In 1925 he moved to Chicago, where he made records with Oliver, Armstrong, and Jelly Roll Morton that captured the spirit of the jazz age. His most famous composition from that period, "Muskrat Ramble," is a jazz standard. Retired from music during the Depression, he returned in the 1940s and enjoyed a reignited career.
Drawing on oral history and Ory's unpublished autobiography, Creole Trombone is a story that is told in large measure by Ory himself. The author reveals Ory's personality to the reader and shares remarkable stories of incredible innovations of the jazz pioneer. The book also features unpublished Ory compositions, photographs, and a selected discography of his most significant recordings.
Click here to listen to interview with John McCusker on The Reading Life with Susan Larson
John McCusker spent nearly 30 years as a staff photographer for The Times-Picayune. He was part of the team that shared the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Journalism for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its immediate aftermath. He was recently hired as staff photographer of the New Orleans bureau of The Advocate. Throughout his career, John has documented the people and places that gave New Orleans one of its many nicknames – The Cradle of Jazz.
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University Press of Mississippi, 10/2012
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